Intel Core i7 3960X 

Released November, 2011
  • 3.3 GHz
  • Hexa core
  • Unlocked
6.2 Out of 10

Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i7-3960X finished the POV-Ray benchmark in 129.48 seconds and was faster than any other processor that we have ever benchmarked.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
Intel has not announced pricing on this water cooler, but we expect it to be in the $80-$100 range.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
Explore 1 desktop with the Intel Core i7 3960X

CPUBoss Review Our evaluation of the Intel Core i7 3960X among desktop CPUs (over 75W)


Benchmark performance using all cores

Core i7 3960X
PCMark 8 Home 3.0 Accelerated, PassMark and 1 more

Single-core Performance

Individual core benchmark performance

Core i7 3960X
PassMark (Single Core), Geekbench 3 Single Core and 1 more

Integrated Graphics

Integrated GPU performance for graphics

Core i7 3960X
Fire Strike

Integrated Graphics (OpenCL)

Integrated GPU performance for parallel computing

Core i7 3960X
CompuBench 1.5 Bitcoin mining and 4 more

Performance per Watt

How efficiently does the processor use electricity?

Core i7 3960X
Fire Strike, CompuBench 1.5 Bitcoin mining and 11 more


Are you paying a premium for performance?

Core i7 3960X
Fire Strike, CompuBench 1.5 Bitcoin mining and 11 more


CPUBoss Score

Combination of all six facets

Core i7 3960X

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Intel Core i7 3960X

CompuBench 1.5 (Ocean surface simulation) Data courtesy CompuBench

Core i7 3960X
63.21 fps
Core i7 4770K
244.75 fps
Core i7 4790K
233.07 fps

GeekBench 3 (Multi-core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i7 3960X
Core i7 4770K
Core i7 4790K

GeekBench 3 (Single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i7 3960X

GeekBench 3 (AES single core) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i7 3960X
2,595,000 MB/s
Core i7 4790K
5,140,000 MB/s
Core i7 4770K
4,810,000 MB/s

GeekBench (32-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i7 3960X
Core i7 4770K
Core i7 4790K

GeekBench (64-bit) Data courtesy Primate Labs

Core i7 3960X
Core i7 4770K
Core i7 4790K

PassMark Data courtesy Passmark

Core i7 3960X
Core i7 4770K
Core i7 4790K

PassMark (Single Core)

Core i7 3960X

Reviews Word on the street for the Intel Core i7 3960X

This means, for example, that when Intel's Hyper-Threading technology is fully engaged, you have 12 processing threads at your disposal; given that the Core i7-3960X's base clock is 3.3GHz, you're looking at some serious performance just from that.

At that frequency, the Core i7-3960X is spewing out 63fps in the x264 HD video encode benchmark.


8.3 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Socket Type

We used the Zalman CNPS12X for overclocking as it had the best thermal performance of all the LGA2011 coolers that we had available at the time.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
This game is only threaded for what looks like six cores and that is the reason that all the 6-8 core processors were at the top of the chart.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
The Intel X79 platform only supports LGA2011 Sandy Bridge-E processors and those processors have 40 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 links capable of 8.0 GT/s, and 4 lanes of DMI2/PCI Express 2.0 interface with a peak transfer rate of 5.0.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)


The Core i7-2600K was a reasonable seven seconds behind the Core i7-3960X in Photoshop (2:54) and just a stone's throw in its wake on our Futuremark PCMark 7 full-system benchmark (3,649 versus 3,708).
by PCMag (Nov, 2011)
Speaking of turbo mode, the Intel Core i7-3960X runs 600MHz above its rated 3300MHz base clock if 1-2 cores are active!
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
Anywho, other changes in the shift from LGA 1,366 on the old X58 chipset to LGA 2,011 on X79 include a single-chip chipset, PCI Express moving onto the processor die and an extra four PCI Express lanes for a grand total of 40.
by Tech Radar (Nov, 2011)


The Intel Core i7-3960X was remarkably fast on multi-threaded benchmarks and that is very good news for power users that really tax their systems with workloads like video encoding and decoding.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
Benchmark Results: When it comes to multi-core performance the Intel Core i7-3960X scored 11.46 points, which is the highest score we have ever seen on this benchmark.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
Benchmark Results:We heard that the Intel Core i7-3960X wasn't going to make a huge difference in gaming benchmarks, so we were shocked to see the CPU at the top of the chart for the Resident Evil 5 DirectX 10 benchmark!
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)


With its blistering performance and faint-worthy price ($990 list), the Core i7-3960X is targeted higher, at truly hard-core gamers and bleeding-edge types.
by PCMag (Nov, 2011)
There's no mention of it in Intel's official documentation, but the image Intel has provided of the new Intel Core i7-3960X's die makes one thing perfectly clear: this is an eight-core PC processor with two cores disabled.
by Tech Radar (Nov, 2011)
The explanation, of course, is that the Core i7-3960X is actually an eight-core processor with a pair of cores disabled.
by Tech Radar (Nov, 2011)


When it comes to gaming performance the Core i7-3960X is the first Intel Extreme Edition processor that didn't really excel in the games.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
If you are a gaming and run a multi-GPU setup then you might want to take a closer look at this platform.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)
In this review we tested single card gaming performance and didn't find much difference between Z68 and X58 platforms.
by Legit Reviews (Nov, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Clock speed 3.3 GHz
Turbo clock speed 3.9 GHz
Cores Hexa core
Socket type LGA 2011
Is unlocked Yes


Has a NX bit Yes
Supports trusted computing No
Has virtualization support Yes
Instruction set extensions
  1. MMX
  2. AES
  3. SSE
  4. SSE2
  5. SSE4.1
  6. SSE3
  7. Supplemental SSE3
  8. SSE4.2
  9. AVX
  10. SSE4
Supports dynamic frequency scaling Yes

integrated graphics

GPU None

memory controller

Memory controller Built-in
Memory type
  1. DDR3-1600
  2. DDR3-1333
  3. DDR3-1066
  4. DDR3
Channels Quad Channel
Supports ECC No
Maximum bandwidth 51,200 MB/s
Maximum memory size 65,536 MB


Architecture x86-64
Threads 12 threads
L2 cache 2 MB
L2 cache per core 0.33 MB/core
L3 cache 15 MB
L3 cache per core 2.5 MB/core
Manufacture process 32 nm
Transistor count 2,270,000,000
Max CPUs 1
Clock multiplier 33
Voltage range 0.6 - 1.35V
Operating temperature Unknown - 66.8°C


Overclock popularity 156
Overclocked clock speed 4.76 GHz
Overclocked clock speed (Water) 4.58 GHz
PassMark (Overclocked) 7,065.9
Overclocked clock speed (Air) 4.76 GHz

power consumption

TDP 130W
Annual home energy cost 56.39 $/year
Annual commercial energy cost 184.84 $/year
Performance per watt 5.05 pt/W
Idle power consumption 73.9W
Peak power consumption 211W
Typical power consumption 176.72W


Architecture DMI 2.0
Transfer rate 5,000 MT/s
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